Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Baby Dolls!

In the last 11 months, I’ve had the following conversation at least once or twice a week. Sometimes the variables change a bit... but it almost always goes like this: 

(Me speaking to a woman who thinks she’s pregnant but is not.)

--So, how many moons pregnant are you?
--Eight? Are you sure? But you have no belly.
--Yes. I’m eight moons pregnant....but it’s strange, my baby isn’t moving.
--I see.... when was your last period?
--My last period was (insert month 8 months previous to conversation).
--So, 8 months ago you had your last menstruation. Did you have any bleeding since?
--Yes. When I was 2 months pregnant, I had some bleeding. Then I’ve had bleeding every month since then.
--I see. Do you know that if you are bleeding it’s almost impossible to be pregnant?
--But I AM pregnant because I haven’t seen the baby come out yet...

When I explain that they wouldn’t be able to see the baby at two months, they argue. When I describe how small babies are at that time, they shake their heads in disbelief. Sometimes they even leave in a huff, irritated that I could be so dull.

Don’t I know anything? The baby didn’t come out! Therefore, she MUST still be pregnant!

(Side note: This belief does explain why some women insist they are 4 years pregnant. Ha ha. But it doesn’t help when I have a woman coming back month after month, insisting she’s pregnant when she’s not.)

Well, last month, I mentioned this dilemma to my dear friend in Switzerland. At the time, I was just venting about not knowing how to teach these women properly... but my friend got an idea.

“What if...” she said, then let her voice fall quiet.
“What if what?” I wondered in response.
“Nothing. Oh.... I just had an idea. I’ll see if I can get it to work, then I’ll let you know,” she responded, eyes sparkling in mischievous delight.

Even though I tried to pry it out of her, she wouldn’t budge. Then a few days later, she sweetly brought me little fetuses made of modeling clay.

They were perfect!

She had hand carved and molded little fetuses at one, two and three months pregnant! They are to scale and really look like little babies!

When I came back to Sudan, I wondered how long it’d take before I used them. Well, I didn’t have to wait long; I’ve already used them 4 times!
I overbaked my versions of the babies and now they look African!
Having such simple props to hold, makes my job so much easier. All I say is: “Since your baby was this small at two months (holding the miscarriage doll in the palm of my hand), do you think it was possible he was in one of the clots that came out?”

The women's eyes have lit up with understanding immediately. They get it! What a blessing!

Thank you, MTw! It’s such a fabulous teaching tool!

...and I’ve made more, just like I promised. Ha ha... but I baked mine too long and now they look African! Bonus, right?